Cover Image: The Last

The Last

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I keep trying this book and I keep stalling out after the first few chapters. It sounds really inter And it has pretty decent reviews but I don’t think it was for me.
Was this review helpful?
This hit all the notes for me--dystopian, murder mystery, atmosphere, etc. It hooks you immediately and you think about it every time you have to put it down. Looking forward to more from this author!
Was this review helpful?
I am not a usual fan of dystopian novels or anything that I can't fully wrap my head around. I have a hard time reading a novel that I am unfamiliar with its territory. Well, Hanna Jameson completely changed my thoughts on the dystopian world and captivated me with a novel that is not only mysterious, but harrowing and psychologically chilling to the core. What I loved about this one was that it was action-packed, a story that features a possible murder, and was so character driven that I honestly didn't care about the ending at all; I just wanted to spend as much time as possible with these characters. 

Not only was the character development in this one top notch, but the setting was generously parallel to the story. A creepy and older hotel full of creaks and shadows in the middle of the woods during what could only be explained as the end of the world. It was claustrophobic, menacing, and provided almost a whole other character in its entirety. As the novel progressed rather quickly, I found myself in the center of the mystery and battling an anxious feeling of wondering how this one could possibly wrap up all of these loose ties.

As expected, Hanna Jameson brilliantly wrapped this one up with all of the answers that I was wishing for as well as a brilliant twist in the end and a jaw-dropping finale that was bittersweet and generously developed. This novel proved that stepping out of your comfort zone can be not only worth it, but an exciting reading experience that will not only beguile your mind, but in this case, your heart as well. 

Special thanks to Atria Books for this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars out of 5. More and more apocalyptic/dystopian books are being published, and quite frankly I find them entertaining, if a bit depressing. The pacing is fast, and there is a murder mystery in the mix. The unsettling thing with this book is that it is a bit more plausible than some of the other post-apocalyptic books out there.
Was this review helpful?
A super interesting premise, but really rushed and tidy ending. After nuclear war, a group of 20 people are stranded inside a Swiss hotel when they find the body of a child in one of the water tanks. Part dystopian novel, part locked room mystery, this book can’t quite decide what it wants to be. #netgalley ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Special thanks to Atria for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

What a time to read this book! While I'm not a fan of dystopian novels, this one is wild. A murder mystery that is dark & keeps you guessing. A very different read for me, but I enjoyed it! 

Thank you for the opportunity to be an early reader.
Was this review helpful?
The book opens up at the end of the world:   There has been a nuclear war, with most of the large cities around the world gone within moments.  For Jon, away at a conference in a remote hotel in Switzerland, this is his chance to take notes---for his family, for future generations, for anyone who might want an account of the happenings as the world died off.   There are about 20 people who have decided to shelter in place at the hotel with Jon, all strangers and all with different backgrounds.  As Jon starts interviewing each person for his “records,” we start to learn a lot about this strange group.  Once again, the book started strong for me, but then started going off into multiple threads:  A murder mystery, secret rooms in the hotel, strange people in the woods outside of the hotel, and so much more that I won’t get into because I don’t want to have any spoilers.  This could’ve been a really great book.  Instead, it tries to be five different books all in one, and it suffers for it.

Note:  Special thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a dark, deeply disturbing tale of one man’s account of what he deems to be the end of the world due to nuclear war. One that is extremely unsettling and anxiety inducing due to the fact that it is completely possible.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting end-of-the-world type novel that is more a character study than a dystopian tale.
While I liked the overall premise, the execution left some things to be desired. For example, this is mostly told through Jon's journal, so we don't necessarily get any action, just the telling of the action.
However, as with most books told in journal style, this one is super wordy--who can remember pages and paragraphs of dialogue when writing in their journal? I'm lucky if I can remember one sentence in a conversation let alone multiple people's words. So that part didn't really ring true and in the end it felt like lazy writing rather than a clever way of writing this type of novel.

The fact that there was a bit of mystery (who was the girl they found murdered and how did she get there?) kept me reading, but it ended up being almost a non-issue. This book is difficult to classify--it's not really a survivor tale, not really a mystery, there's just not enough information given about the event and its real impact.

And this is kind of a throwaway, but it was pretty annoying that a writer from the UK was so judgmental about US politics and blamed everything that happened (even though we had no idea what happened other than "nuclear war" because that wasn't part of the book) on Trump and those that elected him, etc. Although his name was never mentioned, you'd have to be an idiot not to know who was being referred to. Way to alienate a bunch of US readers for absolutely no reason. It could just as easily have been a nuclear war caused by North Korea, but it's not as "cute" and acceptable to place that blame.
Was this review helpful?
The premise seemed promising; a secluded hotel, a post-apocalyptic world, and a murder mystery all wrapped into one. What I enjoyed about this book: it is written in diary form by Jon, our main protagonist. He's a bit unreliable, withholding information about himself, but extremely observant as his job before the end of the world was a historian. My problem with his account though (besides being one sided) is that he writes a lot of dialogue. There is just way too much talking and not enough action. I expected this to be more murder mystery, but the author attempted to make this more of a character driven novel. Unfortunately, that failed for me as the characters were never fully fleshed out. It is a slow, boring read at times, and then there are moments of weird dialogue and flared up emotions. It should make sense as normal life, apocalyptic or not, isn't always exciting but it started to feel drawn out. Which might make what I am about to write strange. The ending was rushed and the conclusion completely jumped shark. You would think that nothing will surprise me when the world is coming to an end, but this felt over the top.

This book has gotten mixed reviews though, so it may be for you. I just expected the murder to be the center of the story and not half hidden by drawn out dialogue and unlikable characters.

Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
What happens when nuclear bombs have been dropped on most major cities?  London is gone.  Paris is gone.  The United States is left without government when Washington, D.C. is gone.  The Last follows Jon, an American historian who is in Switzerland for a conference when nuclear war breaks out.  Luckily, the hotel he's staying in is far from any large cities and has escaped the devastation.  One day Jon heads up to the roof with a staff member and guest to check the water tanks.  They discover the body of a child inside one of the tanks and this sets into motion an investigation that uncovers more than just the culprit.  In fact, the investigation falls into the background as we see how this small community deals with the consequences and threats of nuclear war.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Having grown up at the end of the Cold War, the question of what would happen at the end of the world is one that fascinates me. (Today's youth might fear the future and have a morbid sense of humor because of the doom and gloom in which they are growing up, but they have never had to experience nuclear holocaust drills. Gallows humor doesn't begin to cover what that does to a child.) While Hanna Jameson creates a perfectly reasonable situation in which an isolated group of hotel guests and employees find themselves in a real-life end-of-world situation, the story leaves a bit to be desired. This is a kinder, gentler end of the world. Jameson shields the reader from anything truly horrifying, and all unpleasant situations remain at a minimum. I find this lack of drama boring, to the point where four months after reading it, I have to read the synopsis to refresh my memory. Besides, the title and the cover scream British thriller to me and is in no way indicative that the story occurs in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. It was not the best book I read in April by any means.
Was this review helpful?
This one was just not for me. I ended up listening to the audio and I don’t know if the narrator was part of the problem, but I was just not a fan of the story.
Was this review helpful?
This was a creative and compelling apocalyptic thriller that surprised me several times in the twists and turns it took. I enjoyed the diary style narration and thought it was well done and lent itself to the tone of the story. Great for a summer read.
Was this review helpful?
Honestly, this book gave me the creeps in all the right ways. The whole time I was reading it, I kept wondering to myself if this could actually happen. I’m paranoid by nature so this book really gave me a thrill. 

The plot is fast paced but easy to keep up with. At its core, it’s a mystery with a whole lot of dystopian thrown in for good measure. I can’t say too much about the plot without fear of giving everything away, but y’all, it’s good! 

The characters are intriguing and it was so easy to empathize with them. We really get a glimpse into this new world where people have literally lost everything that mattered to them most. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The plot was executed brilliantly and left me wanting more!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher for allowing me an ARC of The Last by Hanna Jameson. Wow, I was surprised by this book! It was dystoptian and a fast paced thriller all in one! I very much enjoyed Jameson’s writing style. I never felt bored while reading this book. It is unique in many ways. I also found it quite horrifying in a good way! I usually read horror, mystery thriller type books, and this fit right in to my reading tastes. Although, I did feel at some parts the story lingered a bit too long. I couldn’t find much wrong with this story. It was quite relatable to things happening in today’s world and that is probably where I felt the horror aspect to the story. Overall, it was a great book and I would read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Intriguing book!  I don't normally read post apocalyptic stories, although I loved The Stand. However, I "dipped into" The Last, just to get a flavor for it and I just kept on reading until I finished it.  It was an easy read, but very thought provoking.

I've always thought that the end of the world would come, not so much with a bang as with a whimper. Yes, a bang with nuclear warheads exploding, (although who's going to be left to say whether they heard it or not?) but a whimper when we can't connect to our devices and there's no way to contact our friends and family.  That's how you create chaos: no television or phones to find out what's happening across the world, country or even town for that matter.  We always say "it's the not knowing" we find the hardest to cope with during a crisis.

And so it goes in this story.   The most interesting thing is discovering the kind of person you are or your neighbor is. When does the trust stop? Who can you trust for that matter?  Are you the kind of person others can depend on or are you one of the ones who'll hoard supplies? Would you become a theif, a liar, a killer? What would you do for the sake of love or safety? What would you do out of fear? 
#TheLast #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The Last takes place in an isolated hotel in Switzerland after multiple nuclear bombs are detonated. The narrator, Jon, is an American historian at the hotel for a conference. After the bombs drop, the Internet  fails. Most of the hotel guests make the choice to flee, attempting to get to the nearest city and airport. By day ten, only five staff and fifteen guests remain in the hotel. They stay, in vain, in hopes that help will arrive. When a body is discovered in the water tank on the roof of the hotel, Jon is determined to find the murderer. With supplies running low and the weather turning cold, the survivors begin to turn on one another. 

I started this book expecting a fast paced cross between a dystopian thriller and an Agatha Christie mystery. While The Last has some elements of the above, is is set at fairly slow pace and takes deep philosophical dives into the possible implications of survival following mass disaster, questions of faith and humanity. I would classify this as literary fiction with dystopian overtones, rather than thriller or suspense. 

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for this complementary advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
“One hotel. Twenty survivors. One of them is a murder.” Historian Jon Keller is stranded at a mysterious Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear chaos. Jon is the unreliable narrator (my favorite kind!) and to keep his sanity during this dark time, Jon decides to journal all the creepy hotel happenings amongst the survivors while trying to keep his mind off the family he’s left behind. I loved the easy to read journal format! Such a hauntingly brilliant read that I couldn’t put down. If you’re a sucker for dystopian thrillers like I am, then this is one that you’ll definitely want to clear your schedule for. 

The conclusion was one that I felt was a bit disjointed - this I can’t wait to discuss with anyone that has read it. Fortunately, it didn’t make me love the ride any less though. One of my 2019 faves thus far!!
Was this review helpful?
Very interesting plot, scary at times due to the events described in the novel. Such a great dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel. I enjoyed the way things turned out and how we follow along a group of people and their instincts to survive. Quite interesting to see how people would react in given situations. I love the added mystery added to it, highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?